Having discovered her passion for music at a young age and having worked hard to share said passion with others, Elise Lieberth has long since established herself as an incredible talent. With her new album Invincible out next year, Elise is seeing out the year with the release of her latest single “Beautiful”, the video for which ThisIsTheLatest are delighted to premiere, and I caught up with her to chat musical influences, balancing work and family life and what’s been her highlight of the year.
TITL: What is it about music and the music industry that first made you think “I want to be a part of that”?
Elise Lieberth: Honestly the music industry does not appeal to me much, BUT I have such a crazy life story and a love for music, singing, and writing itself, that I know I have to tell my story to anyone who will listen through song. My biggest hope is that my story will inspire others.
TITL: What would you say your unique selling point as an artist is?
EL: I’ve been told that my voice is distinctive and versatile. I believe because of my past, I sing with emotion and I truly focus on writing and covering songs that are meaningful and can potentially make an impact.
TITL: Is there one particular band or artist that most influences the music you make or do you take influences and ideas from an array of artists?
EL: This is so tough for me because I love and appreciate all talented vocalists and lyricists. Sara Bareilles, Brandi Carlile, Kelly Clarkson, Ingrid Michaelson, and Adele are some of my favorites!
TITL: Is there a story behind your new single “Beautiful”?
EL: Yes! “Beautiful”was written after reflecting on Rachel James – co-writer – and our similar childhoods and the need we felt to be beautiful on the outside. I personally yearned to be one of the pretty girls and I never felt good enough. I am a mom of three girls now and the last thing I would EVER want for them to feel is “less than” because ultimately, beauty is skin deep. True beauty comes from within and that should be what we as humans focus on. The need to be perfect and fit in and the way social media has trained our brains, is just so heart-breaking. It took a lot of therapy and self-development, but I finally love who I am, the way I was made physically, and I appreciate how creative God is. It’s important to embrace our differences, because that is what makes the world turn so beautifully.
TITL: The song is taken from your album, Invincible, out in January. How would you sum it up in a few words or a sentence?
EL: Invincible takes you on a journey of heartbreak, forgiveness, healing, overcoming, and ultimately becoming Invincible.
TITL: Do you have a favourite track on the album and if so, which is it and why?
EL: This is my favorite album I have ever put out. If I had to choose just one song it would be “Invincible”.I generally write from a place of heartbreak and sadness and had the serious case of writer’s block for YEARS because I finally found true love and happiness 7 years ago.I have tried to write a love song depicting my husband, Stephen, and our love story since we met and I just couldn’t! Invincible is the closest thing to a love song and it was completely inspired by my amazing husband. Only a few people have heard the song, including my kids, they even get it stuck in their heads and sing it randomly! It’s so fun to hear and it makes it even more special to hear them singing a song about a strong, unbreakable relationship that happens to be their parents’.
TITL: Aside from your own personal experiences, many of which I believe listeners may find themselves relating to. Who or what most influences or inspires your song-writing?
EL: Sadness! HA! If I have a bad day or my heart hurts, you better believe I am writing a song. I generally write from a very literal perspective, but lately I have been stepping out of my comfort zone, trying to write songs about the ones around me. Drawing inspiration from others has been challenging for me, but it’s also incredibly fun to push myself in that way!
TITL: There are so many great and classic songs out there, spanning several decades, but if you had to choose which, in your opinion, is the greatest ever written, which track would it be?
EL: Well, hmpf! This is so hard! One of my favorite songwriters is Dave Barnes. His song “Until You” just does something to me. It’s a beautiful love story and I always dreamt of a man falling madly in love with me and singing it to me! Ha!
TITL: Will you be touring in support of the album? Are there any particular venues or countries you’d most like to play in?
EL: I am not going to be touring, but I will do a couple of house concerts to celebrate each single release and a big album release show on Jan 31, 2020 – finalizing venue! We had our first house concert on Nov 12th where we packed my living room with almost 50 people, it was so intimate and fun. I am looking forward to the next house concert on Dec 13! Dearling will be opening and accompanying me and I just know it’s going to be a magical evening.
TITL: As well as praise, artists often face a lot of criticism from critics but do you pay much attention to or care much about what such people think? Do you ever find negative comments hurtful and how do you overcome how they make you feel?
EL: 2010-2017 Elise used to care WAY too much about negative comments and what people thought of me. In fact that is a major reason why I have not released music in so long. I have never been pretty enough or skinny enough for the industry and I didn’t believe that as a mom of four kids I was worthy of taking the time to do what I love. I let a few comments from family members hold me back from chasing my goals and dreams and focused on raising my family. I have no regrets though, because while I took time off from music, I was able to go to therapy and work on healing myself. I have a much healthier perception of myself and I am CHOOSING not to let the negative comments or the naysayers get to me.
There is so much rejection in this industry and it has been neat to take a step back when being rejected to look at the big picture: they aren’t denying ME, Elise Lieberth, they are denying my music or my sound and I am choosing to separate me as a person from my music.
TITL: What’s the nicest/best thing someone could say/write about you and your music?
EL: I love hearing that my songs have helped people get through difficult times in their life. Just knowing THAT, makes my heart SO happy.
TITL: You’ve earned yourself millions of plays and streams on YouTube and Spotify, but are you a big social media user and how do you think it’s impacted your career, personally and professionally? Do you believe it’s at all possible for bands and artists to achieve success without being socially interactive these days?
EL: I feel very blessed to have had such favor with my music over the years. I worked my booty off from 2010-2013 to make a name for myself and although it never quite felt like I did. Even on my 7 year hiatus I still had millions of people listening to my music. That really started to sink in with me when a talented artist and friend of mine that has actively pursued music during the 7 years I did not, told me how “freaking amazing that was.” I needed to see a different perspective for me to understand how fortunate I have been to have active listeners and supporters.
I think if artists are willing to put the work in for several years and make their music a priority that it can pay off in the long run, even if they need to take a break. The amount of money and time I invested into my music back in the day is crazy to think about and a lot of artists don’t want to or aren’t financially able to invest in their music. Most don’t even view their craft and the money they have to put into it as a long term investment. It took me years to earn money back on my initial investments but it has been worth it!!
TITL: Finally then, with the end of the year fast approaching, what’s been your highlight of 2019?
EL: The highlight of my year was when my version of “According to You” went viral on TikTok 9 years after I released it! To see 75,000 teens and young adults make silly videos to my audio was so fun!! To top it off, my 16 year old and her friends thought it was so cool that they talked me into doing a TikTok with them of me actually singing the song. Our TikTok went viral as well and for the first time in a long time I felt like my daughter, Tayler thought I was kinda cool. I felt cool. HAHA!